46,000 fans a game: Atlanta United’s strange success far from soccer’s heartland | Football

Two Major League Soccer expansion clubs first took the field in March 2017, both bearing the moniker “United”. One in Minneapolis, the other, in Atlanta— a city in that lower-third of the American map which, conventional wisdom holds, stands in stark opposition to the globalist concerns of either American coast, and could therefore never deign to care about a sport ...

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Barcelona unites for opening game of the football season | World news

First came the stillness of mourning, then a defiant roar of “We are not afraid” as tens of thousands of Barcelona football fans started the new La Liga season by paying their respects to the victims of Thursday’s terrorist attacks. With emotions still raw in the Catalan capital following the car attacks that killed 13 people on Las Ramblas boulevard ...

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Rafael Nadal is last of the golden greats still standing before US Open | Jacob Steinberg | Sport

What to make of the state of men’s tennis? For the best part of a decade a quartet of hall‑of‑famers have transcended their sport by lifting it to hitherto untouched heights with their titanic struggle for supremacy while below them a host of challengers have strained to swell the numbers of the elite club known as the Big Four. Plenty ...

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Hong Kong, activist, 'stapled', Lionel Messi, photo

Hong Kong activist says he was ‘stapled’ over Lionel Messi photo

A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist says he was beaten and had his legs stapled by Chinese agents because he was planning to send a signed photo of Lionel Messi to a dissident’s widow. Howard Lam, a member of Hong Kong’s Democratic party, said he was snatched on the street on Thursday, forced into a car and made to smell something ...

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Premier League, 10 things, look out, opening, weekend

Premier League: 10 things to look out for on the opening weekend

1) Spurs aim to pick up where they left off Spurs ended last season like a team who were ready to go all summer. They won their last two games, away to Leicester and Hull, by the walloping margins of 6-1 and 7-1, to complete a run of 12 wins in 13 matches at the end of the Premier League ...

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Tour de France 2017, Peter Sagan, Michael Matthews, win, stage, three

Tour de France 2017: Peter Sagan holds off Michael Matthews to win stage three

Since 2012 it has become increasingly clear that Peter Sagan is, as the French would say, un cas à part – in a class of his own. In sporting terms, the double world champion appears utterly impervious to pressure and can prove utterly unbeatable on his day, as was the case here in a carbon copy of his victory last ...

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Paolo Maldini, courts, new love, grand band, sport, switchers

Paolo Maldini courts new love to join grand band of sport switchers

It was the kind of story that made one do a double take. The Paolo Maldini? The retired footballer? The five-times European champion, former Italy captain and devilishly handsome H&M model? He’s a professional tennis player now? Are you sure? There was a temptation to assume it was nothing more than a joke that had spun out of control. It ...

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Harry Kane, denies, Scotland, win, England, Griffiths

Harry Kane denies Scotland win over England after Griffiths sparks frantic finish

The only word to describe it is bedlam. It was certainly difficult to make sense of that extraordinary finale other than to say that, ultimately, Harry Kane showed everyone right at the end why Gareth Southgate had made him captain for the day. It was the 93rd minute when Kane denied Scotland their “football, bloody hell” moment and, in the ...

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Saudi Arabia, footballers, minute's silence, London, attack, victims

Saudi Arabia footballers ignore minute’s silence for London attack victims

Saudi Arabia’s national football team have been criticised for failing to observe a minute’s silence held before Thursday’s match against Australia in Adelaide. The Socceroos lined up in the centre of the pitch before the World Cup qualifier and held the brief silence as a tribute to the two Australians killed in the terrorist attack in London at the weekend. ...

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French Open 2017, Simona Halep, Jelena Ostapenko, surprise, final

French Open 2017: Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko set up surprise final

Romania’s Simona Halep will take on the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko for the French Open title after two outstanding semi-finals here on Thursday which showcased some of the best ball-striking and athleticism the game has to offer. Halep, the third seed and considered a weak favourite in what was called the most open of French Opens, reached her second Roland Garros ...

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